The international netball governing body, World Netball has ordered the executive of the Uganda Netball Federation (UNF) to step down with immediate effect, a missive from the former dated 2nd November 2023 confirmed.
This development comes after National Council of Sports (NCS) of Uganda withdrew Certificate of Recognition from UNF on 25th October 2023, something that implied that the federation would no longer conduct any business to do with the sport, on behalf of the Government of Uganda.
This was after a long standoff between NCS and suspended UNF President, Sarah Babirye Kityo over issues to do with (according to NCS) persistent governance and leadership challenges that engulfed the UNF, and due to the failure by the UNF to follow laws of Uganda and their own statutes. NCS’ missive added that failure to disclose sources of funding and failure to inform NCS of several bank accounts that the federation opened without following procedures, and use of forged unauthorized documents to open these accounts were other reasons for the withdrawal of the certificate of recognition.
After this, World Netball’s intervention was anticipated and now UNF’s executive led Brig. Gen. Flavia Byekwaso who has been Acting President of the federation has been ordered to step down by the international body as they seek to forge a way forward for the game here in Uganda.
“In line with World Netball’s Articles of Association, a member is required to hold the exclusive right to govern Netball in its country. As this is no longer the case for UNF, the World Netball Board had a right to suspend the member from membership of the company pending consideration of the matter by the Full Members.” World Netball’s letter signed by their President President Dame Liz Nicholl CBE read.
“The World Netball Board believes that suspending the UNF would not be in the best interest of netball and its participants,” another part of the letter read.
Therefore, to avoid suspension and to address the significant governance issues highlighted the National Council of Sports of Uganda and to regain National Council of Sports recognition, World Netball has requested that;
1) The current executive of the UNF steps down immediately with no compensation for the loss of office and
2) A Normalization Committee is established by World Netball to direct UNF which will remain in place until such time fair and democratic elections can take place.
The international body further cautions UNF that they (World Netball) reserve the right to suspend UNF from membership should it fail to comply with the requests made.